Resurgance in Bengali Cinema Resonates With International Distribution By Databazaar Media Ventures of USA

By Supratim Sanyal

Feb 7, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Beginning 2009, a remarkable group of young, highly intelligent and fabulously creative film-makers began to make their presence felt - a trickle turned to a stream, and the stream has now turned into a roaring river of spectacular Bengali films one after another - and even sometimes in parallel. We continue to have the pleasure of bringing you some of these glittering directorial minds and the actors, actresses, music directors and crew members in our exclusive features section - and it seems like every successful Bengali film has the welcome effect of inspiring a whole new set of film-makers and the waves keep coming.

Bengali Films In USAIt is quite appropriate as another great development in Bengali cinema that a Florida, USA based organization, Databazaar Media Ventures ( DMV), has developed a model for the screening and distribution of quality Bengali films through more than 19,000 retail outlets in the United States and Canada. This begins the 2nd wave of the global Bengali film, and all indications are that if the resurgence in Kolkata sustains, this will be a much longer one due to a globalization of the political and economic environment in Bengal as well. We remain optimistic that some day soon, a mainstream theater in the United States will run a Bengali film for multiple weeks with sold-out crowds consisting mostly of local populations - a feat only Satyajit Ray could achieve so far.

Latest Bengali Movie Releases

Find out what the new Bengali film releases are, find a theater which is screening them and the showtimes, watch online or buy the DVD - Click Here »

Gorosthane Sabdhan - Sandip Ray >

JODI EKDIN (Life Is Magic)
Jodi Ekdin (Life Is Magic) - Riingo Banerjee >

Bomkesh Bakshi : Adim Ripu - Anjan Dutta >

Life Goes On - Sangeeta Dutta - Sharmila Tagore
Life Goes On - Sangeeta Datta >

Angshumaner Chobi
Angshumaner Chobi - Atanu Ghosh >

Shukno Lanka (Dry Red Chillies) - Gaurav Pandey >

Ekti Tarar Khonje (Stars Never Sleep)
Ekti Tarar Khonje (Stars Never Sleep) - Avik Mukhopadhyay >

  Dwando - Suman Ghosh >

Laboratory - Raja Sen >

Japanese Wife
Japanese Wife - Aparna Sen >

Natobar Not Out
Natobar Not Out - Amit Sen

Table 1: Kolkata Bengali Movie Releases in USA by Databazaar Media available online

Indian Cinema, and Bengali film in particular, came to global attention and received tremendous acclaim from film critics as well as the western general audience across the planet via brilliant Indian film-makers led by one of the all-time masters of cinema, Satyajit Ray. In an era thrilling for Bengalees and Indians where Ravi Shankar was setting the little town of Monterey in California on fire in 1967 with Allah Rakha (Monterey Pop Festival was the precursor to the historic Woodstock series of music festivals), Satyajit Ray's films were playing to full houses worldwide. My father lived in Paris when Pather Panchali released in theaters in Paris - and dad used to tell stories of how Frenchmen and women would come over and shake his hand or hug him just because he was a fellow countryman of Ray - often times with the Ray experience having brought shimmering tears in their eyes. Bengali film had gone global, no question, but unfortunately it would not be for long.

Let us not get into the overall decay of Bengal and Bengalees and disappearance of Calcutta from the world map and Bengalis from leadership positions across India and the world starting the 1970s and lasting till around a couple of years ago - perhaps 2009. After every decline is a rise, and Bengal is on the throes of getting back to leading India as we speak today.

Oney Seal, Founder & CEO of the Databazaar Group of companies (who are well-established in the office supplies segment for a decade) said, "[availability of Bengali films] on Netflix, Amazon, Best Buy, Target, iTunes, and Blockbuster is very encouraging and proves beyond doubt that we have implemented a winning business model that fulfils the wishes of both the Bengali film producer as well as the NRI film viewer in North America. Our efforts have also ensured that quality Bengali films will now reach the entire ‘foreign film’ viewing market in North America.” Arijit Dutta, a founding Director of DMV looking after content & acquisition, expressed satisfaction stating that the revenue gap between production costs and domestic sales, which was plaguing modern Bengali cinema till a couple of years ago, will now receive some additional support through the opening up of the North American market. Suman Ghosh and senior US-Indian journalist Devasish Ray, both founding directors of Databazaar Media Ventures, emphasized the massive reach and scope of the media spend that DMV is investing on each title it acquires. “This is unprecedented and is the critical ingredient for the success of every title”, they added.

Databazaar Media Ventures acts as a gateway for Bengali films to North America, combining the latest in digital technologies with the best in traditional methods in a new, fusion distribution model that maximizes North American film revenues. They are the missing link that ensures the most effective marketing of modern Bengali films. Once selected by DMV’s Film Review Board, exclusive partner agreements ensure that titles acquired will reach over 19,000 online and retail stores across the US and Canada including major chains such as Best Buy, Target, Fry's Electronics, Blockbuster, Netflix, Amazon and Wal-Mart, along with, theatrical releases in certain demographics. For more information please visit